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India to celebrate Republic Day in Bangladesh on Friday

India to celebrate Republic Day in Bangladesh on Friday”

Despite its historical and cultural links with East and Southeast Asia, India in its post-Independence foreign policy largely tended to ignore the region.

The visiting Indonesian president made the remarks during his Retreat session speech at the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit here on Thursday.

"Humanitarian and disaster relief efforts, security cooperation and freedom of navigation will be the key focus for our maritime cooperation", Modi said at the summit, as he unveiled postage stamps marking the silver jubilee of India-ASEAN friendship.

President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha of Thailand and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Vietnam.

It was for the first time that 10 guests of honour - from all 10 Asean countries - were invited for the annual official celebrations, signifying India's growing strategic interests in its eastern neighbourhood that surrounds the maritime underbelly of Asia - the Indo-Pacific.

They will push ahead with dialogues and cooperation through regional mechanisms to maintain peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation as well as address disputes via peaceful means and in line with worldwide law, including the 1982 United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Secretary (East) in the External Affairs Ministry Preeti Saran said the two leaders also deliberated on enhancing cooperation in the infrastructure sector.

India's former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and deputy chief minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia were also present on the occasion. "We will further enhance trade ties and work towards greater interaction among our business communities".

Saying that INDIA-ASEAN trade and investment flows have multiplied several times, Mr Modi reiterated that ASEAN and India have vast opportunities to chart a steady course through the uncertain and turbulence times to a stable and peaceful future for the region and the world.

Couples wearing traditional attires of the 10 ASEAN countries and carrying flags of the member nations accompanied the tableaux.

"The RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) being negotiated represents a historic opportunity to establish the world's largest trading region", he said, reports IANS.

The grand finale of the parade will be a fly past by the Air Force.

Asean-India relations have grown considerably over the past few decades.

Modi, who returned from Davos on Wednesday, has already held bilateral meetings with six of the 10 heads of state, and is expected to meet them all by the end of the summit.

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